Man finds message in bottle and tracks down writer

(CNN) – For the past 21 years a message from two Lansing girls traveled 35 miles down the Grand River to Ionia.

“It’s in pretty good condition really. I mean it was water stained, it was damp and when I took it out of the bottle, but it’s in really good condition for being 21 years old,” Terry Smith found the film case while hunting for mushrooms monday afternoon.  “You never know what you’re going to find in something like that and this was quite a surprise, I couldn’t believe it that it lasted this long.”

Inside he found three pieces of paper written by 12-year-olds Angela and Leah in 1994. Two of the papers are covered in drawings of the girls and the third is a letter to whoever would find it.

“I thought it would be quite an experience if I would get a hold of them and let them know that I did find their message,” Smith continued.

Less than 24 hours later we found Leah, “I’m shocked I’m totally shocked.  I was just “was this us?” You know like I don’t know. It’s strange.”

She doesn’t remember putting it all together, “We used to play in this creek that’s back here in the neighborhood and we used to make rafts and have races with them. I totally believe we would’ve done something like that.”

Now she’s reconnected with angle to try to piece together a 20-year-old memory, “We went to school together – all the way grade school through high school, see if she remembers because that would be neat.”

Smith is from Ohio, he found the message while vacationing in Michigan.

He says this isn’t the first message he found, but it’s the first one that’s been legible.  He plans to put it in a photo album as a keepsake.

Copyright CNN 2015

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